Violence erupted in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital yesterday as the ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got underway across the country.

One person was killed in the Ekiti violence while several other people were injured.

There was also shooting during the ward congresses in some parts of Ebonyi State.

Some party members in Ogun State held parallel congresses in defiance of the threat by the party to sanction offending members.

There were protests in Osun and Akwa Ibom states over alleged exclusion of some members while a court order prevented the congresses from taking place in Bayelsa State.

The exercise went fairly well in other states, with the secretary of the party’s Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Dr. John James Akpanuoduedehe, rating them “successful and peaceful.”

Killed in the Ekiti violence was a man identified simply as Jide. He was allegedly stabbed by suspected thugs in Ado Ekiti Ward 8.

Sporadic shootings were also reported in other parts of the state.

The bone of contention was the mode of picking party officials. While one group loyal to Governor Kayode Fayemi rooted for consensus, the SWAGA group called for direct election.

The state chairman of SWAGA, Senator Tony Adeniyi, decried the widespread violence which marred the process, saying that there was no congress in the state.

Adeniyi said: “There was no election today in Ekiti because there was no accreditation across the wards. The Fayemi Tokan Tokan (pro-Fayemi) people manipulated the process and prevented people from voting for their preferred leaders, especially SWAGA members.

“I can confirm to you that there was violence in Ikere-Ekiti. Virtually all the wards in Ado-Ekiti, we had violence and several people were wounded. Also in Ward 10, someone was killed. Is that how to do a congress?”

However, APC spokesman, Ade Ajayi, denied the allegations by the leaders on the process of the congress, saying every member of the party was allowed to participate in congress.

NATION